If you worked in the same company for a long time, you may feel like your career is stagnant. It’s common to compare yourself against your former colleagues and feel left behind if they are already steps ahead.
Advancing your profession can bring a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to refine your goals. It grants you more confidence when dealing with clients and gives you access to better opportunities.
Your career growth goal may be getting a more challenging role or moving to the executive level. You might also be more interested in enriching your skills so that you work less for more money. Regardless of your target, there are several tips to climb the career ladder.
1️⃣ Have a Solid Plan
Before you take any step to advance your career, you should have a solid plan. Where do you want to be in the next five years or towards your retirement? Do you want to grow in the same company, or are you targeting a different organization?
Defining your career goals is a great place to start when making a long-term plan. List what you want to achieve and have a detailed outline of how you will get there. For example, if you want to be in a managerial position in the next five years, you can determine the skills you want to have by then. After that, decide if you will progress in your current workplace, and if not, start applying for positions elsewhere.
Planning your career advancement journey will help you assess your current position. It lets you determine how much effort you need to move to the next step. You can also budget for higher education and scout for the best career growth courses.
2️⃣ Build Your Professional Network
Your network will come in handy in many ways when advancing your career. For example, it will help you get a mentor to guide and evaluate your performance. Likewise, you can connect with other professionals so that they can inform you about new opportunities.
While you may have a busy schedule, it’s vital to set aside time to attend networking events. Show up for happy hour meetups with your colleagues and charity events in your area. Attend industry seminars and webinars to discover new trends in your field.
Here are more tips to expand your professional network:
- Participating in roundtable discussions at your workplace
- Joining alumni networking groups
- Attending career fairs
- Joining professional bodies
Social media platforms are great for building a professional network and advancing your career. Create a LinkedIn profile and ensure it highlights your skills and experience. After that, use the search function to find other people with similar career goals and interests.
By building your social network, you will strengthen your professional reputation. When applying for new jobs, your connections can easily vouch for you and endorse your skills.
3️⃣ Grow Your Skills
Employers want workers that are efficient, productive, and reliable. You may have the skills needed to do your job five years ago, but times are changing. Clients want value for their money, and there are new ways to deliver better services.
Do you want to be great at your job and advance your career quickly? Grow your skillset by taking advantage of all the training offered at your workplace. This measure will help you learn and prove to your boss that you are an asset. It also shows that you are serious about advancing your career, which can ensure your boss considers you for promotions.
Having unique skills makes you more marketable and helps you stand out. Go above and beyond by taking courses that aren’t flooded. They might be more challenging and costly, but they will make succeeding even in a competitive workplace easier.
As you work towards improving your resume, don’t forget to hone your soft skills. These will complement your technical skills and make you a good leader.
4️⃣ Work On Your Emotional Intelligence
Many modern workplaces are looking for leaders with emotional intelligence. They want bosses who can motivate juniors to deliver without exerting too much pressure. Further, they need leaders who can exercise empathy and control when relating to others.
Be aware of your emotions and how they affect people around you. Ensure you are open-minded when interacting with colleagues and accept feedback even from your juniors. Communicate clearly, respect boundaries, and practice active listening.
Working on your emotional intelligence will make you a valuable employee and future leader. If you respect and understand other people’s emotions, you build better relationships and avoid conflict. In the long run, you will step up the career ladder more easily since your colleagues and bosses will be more willing to vouch for you.
5️⃣ Take Initiative
You’ve improved your performance and gained new skills but still feel stuck in your career. So what do you do next? Taking the initiative to communicate your goals with your boss is a great first step. Let them know you’d like them to consider you for a promotion. Highlight the steps you’ve taken to prepare yourself for more responsibilities and share an updated resume.
A performance review meeting is a great place to ask for a promotion. You can also schedule a sit down with your boss or casually bring up the topic when interacting with them outside the workplace.
When you hint that you’re ready to advance your career, your boss will likely have questions. For example, they may want to know why you think you’re ready for a new role. Ensure you highlight your current value as an employee and mention that you have more to offer.
Once you sell yourself to your employer, maintain a positive attitude and avoid getting your hopes too high. If some time passes and you don’t get growth opportunities, be open to finding a new employer. This measure will prevent your career from stagnating and help you advance faster.
Grow Your Career Today
Advancing your career isn’t hard, but it requires effort, resilience and dedication. With the right plan, you can get your dream job, earn more, and become an industry leader. Dedicate more time and resources towards improving your skills and staying up to date with the evolving job market.
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